“Where did these carrots come from?” jewelry designer Morgania Moore asks as she serves herself a heaping forkful of roasted root vegetables. She’s not asking out of concern for the provenance of the food, but out of curiosity: After all, she’s eating dinner in the middle of the Noci Sonoma farm where these carrots were grown, and sitting across from Michael Arsenault, Noci’s head gardener. Michael gestures to an area not far from the table where they’re sitting to show Morgania where the carrots where grown, and farm owner Chris Adjani leans in to talk about how he used cover crops to rejuvenate the soil in that area.
This is not your average dinner party small talk. Instead, it’s all a part of a harvest dinner on the 24-acre grounds of Noci Sonoma, a modern member-based farmstead in Healdsburg, California. The farm is a collaborative effort spearheaded by husband-and-wife couple Chris and Aria Adjani, who invite food and outdoor enthusiasts to join the farm via a membership program that gives you full access to the stunning farm grounds as well as a hearty allotment of produce.
“We loved the idea of farm-to-table food,” Chris explains, “but instead of bringing the farm to the people, we bring the people to the farm.” Aria, a graduate of the chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School (now the National Gourmet Institute) in New York City, developed all of the dishes for the family-style meal, making the most of the farm’s produce.
“Having the farm as made me more creative as a cook,” says Aria. “I like being able to look at what’s growing and get inspired that way, rather than making a grocery list. It’s a fun challenge.”
Learn more about our dinner at Noci Sonoma Farmstead, and re-create Aria’s meal with her recipes below.
To Drink: Fennel and Apple Cocktail
To whet guests’ appetites, the Adjanis like to serve a refreshing cocktail prepared with fennel and apple.
Aria’s bean soup recipe is inspired by time she spent in Italy. “I fell in love with the Italian culture, the lifestyle and the food,” she explains. Her version has a twist: It’s brightened up with Meyer lemon and a parsley gremolata.
The ever-changing selection of greens on the farm—from kale to arugula to broccoli leavesZ—means no two salads are ever the same. Here, sturdy chicories like frisée and radicchio are the stars alongside crunchy fennel.
Five simple ingredients—butter, garlic, salt, parsley and parmesan cheese—can transform a loaf of bread from everyday to incredible. Noci’s garlic bread is easy yet utterly addictive and perfect to place in the middle of the dinner table to share.
For the juiciest pork, turn to a bone-in roast like the rack of pork this recipe calls for. These chops have been garnished with rosemary and sage and served alongside an unforgettable golden raisin and apple cider chutney.
Customize this dish to your liking. Aria likes to use whatever is fresh from the farm—in this case, parsnips, radishes and other slightly bitter root vegetables that are paired with sweet fall fruits such as apples.
Crystallized ginger adds a hint of texture and plenty of warmth to traditional chocolate biscotti. We brought leftovers home from Noci Sonoma and found them delicious dipped in coffee the next morning, too.
These pots de creme are made from goat’s milk that add a refreshing tang. They’re perfect for the warmer autumn evenings.
Learn more about Noci Sonoma—and see our harvest dinner—in the video below.